Holliday caps incredible comeback with a walk-off 3-run homer as Yanks beat O’s 14-11 in 10 innings

Man, how about this Yankees team lately? They just swept a two game series against the arch rival Red Sox, behind brilliant pitching performances from Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka, and hoped to continue their momentum into their second homestand of the year. Didi Gregorius made his first start of the season after missing almost a month with a shoulder strain. For the Yanks, C.C. Sabathia (2-1, 2.70 ERA), was on the mound, up against Kevin Gausman (1-2, 7.50 ERA) and the Baltimore Orioles.

Photo by Julie Jacobson of AP

The first inning went by pretty quickly, with both teams getting a base runner via a Manny Machado single and a Chase Headley walk, but neither had an effect on the inning. The second inning was a bit more exciting, however, as Didi Gregorius made a sparkling play to take a base hit away from Welington Castillo, and then had a one out double in his first at bat of the year. Welcome back, Sir Didi. An Aaron Judge strikeout and Greg Bird fly out ended that threat, however.

The game’s first scoring came in the top of the third, in a very irritating fashion. With two outs, Joey Rickard nubbed a ball down the third base line for an infield single, and Adam Jones walked. Machado then hammered a ball over the head of Ellsbury in center field for a double, and both Rickard and Jones scored, giving the O’s a 2-0 lead.

The O’s added to their lead in the top of the fourth, as Sabathia hit Chris Davis with a pitch and Castillo drilled a ball over the right field wall for his first home run of the season, and the O’s were up 4-0. That was 100% on Sabathia too. The count was 0-2 when he hit Davis and the pitch that Castillo hit out was right down the middle. You can’t make mistakes like this to anyone in the Orioles lineup, with the exception of J.J. Hardy, who had a .504 OPS coming into the game (he literally singled the second I typed this). The inning almost got out of hand, since after Hardy singled, Rickard walked, but C.C. was able to strike out Jones to end the inning.

In his third at bat, Machado decided to outdo his first two.. Leading off the fifth inning, he hit a moonshot of a home run that almost cleared the restaurant in center field, giving the O’s a 5-0 lead. The homer clocked in at 470 feet, the longest in the majors this season. It was impressive to say the least.

What happened next might be one of my favorite moments of this season so far (hadn't seen the ending of the game yet). Aaron Judge led off the bottom of the fifth, and during his at bat, Yankees announcer David Cone mentioned how he thought Judge should have eight homers instead of seven, due to the play that was called a triple that night against the Cardinals. Judge then hit his eighth homer of the season on the next pitch. Nice. That put the Yanks on the board, and the score was 5-1.

Sabathia’s night ended with two outs in the sixth inning after Rickard and Jones hit back to back two out singles again, which was the right move. Machado was up next and was 3-3. C.C. wasn’t great tonight by any means, but he still gave the Yanks almost six innings even when it was obvious from the third inning on he didn’t have his best stuff, so that’s a positive. Bryan Mitchell then came in to relieve C.C. and promptly walked Machado on four pitches to load the bases for Mark Trumbo....who then promptly crushed a ball into the left field bleachers for his fourth career grand slam. That one measured in at 459 feet. It was Trumbo’s first home run since a walk-off bomb on Opening Day, which is hard to believe. Like I said before, don’t make a mistake to an Oriole hitter.

The Yanks got back some runs in the bottom of the inning though. Matt Holliday doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning, and then Castro singled to move him to third. Didi then grounded a ball in the hole between first and second that Jonathon Schoop made a nice spinning play on to retire the Yankees shortstop. Holliday scored, however, and the score was 9-2. Aaron Judge then made everyone #AllRise for a second time, absolutely crushing his second homer of the year to dead center field, making the score 9-4. The ball was measured 119.4 MPH off the bat, making it the hardest hit home run during the Statcast era, breaking Giancarlo Stanton’s recording of 119.2. The Judge can crush.

The O’s then killed the Yankees rally. In the top of the seventh, Castillo walked to lead it off, and Trey Mancini lined a ball down the right field line for a double. Schoop then lined a single to left field, scoring both runners and giving the Orioles an 11-4 lead. J.J. Hardy proceeded to single to right, and after a Rickard flyout to the left field warning track, Jones punched a single to right field. The bases were then loaded with one out for (who else?) Machado. Girardi took Mitchell out and replaced him with Jonathan Holder. Machado flew out to shallow right field, and Trumbo hit a ground ball that traveled about five feet to end the inning.

For some reason, even though he had 103 pitches, Buck Showalter left Gausman out to start the bottom of the seventh inning. Austin Romine reached on an infield single to third, and THEN Buck took Gausman out, and brought former Yankee Vidal Nuno in to face the top of the order. That...was a bad idea. After Gardner popped out, Headley doubled down the left field line. Nuno then walked Holliday to load the bases for Ellsbury. With a 2-1 count, Ellsbury smashed his first career grand slam, and 100th career home run, into the right field bleachers. Congrats, Ells. Showalter then brought in Mychal Givens, who got Castro to ground out, and then served up a single to Didi. That brought up Judge, who was bidding for a three-homer game. Givens struck him out though, but the damage had been done, and the Yanks were back in the game.

The eighth inning was uneventful, and Tyler Clippard retired the O’s in order in the top of the ninth. Would the Yankees rally against O’s interim closer Brad Brach? Maybe. A Chase Headley walk began the inning, and then Matt Holliday hit a booming single off the wall in right center field, which moved Headley to third. Ellsbury then grounded a ball over the mound, which turned into a fielder’s choice. Headley scored, and Ellsbury was on first for Castro, with the score 11-9. Starlin then CRUSHED the first pitch he saw into the left field seats to tie the game at 11-11. Incredible. What a comeback by the Yanks. Brach eventually ended the inning, working around a walk to Judge, and we would head to extra innings.

Aroldis Chapman came in for the 10th, and picked up a couple of strikeouts. Jayson Aquino came on for the bottom of the tenth, and walked Aaron Hicks and Kyle Higashoika on five pitches each. Solid. Higgy was trying to lay down a sacrifice bunt and Aquino couldn't throw a strike. He rebounded to strike out Headley, but Matt Holliday played the hero and blasted a ball into the Yankee bullpen to win it 14-11. What. A. Game. As Michael Kay put it, it was a Bronx Bomber night.

The Yanks and Orioles play the second game of this series tomorrow at 1:05 ET. Michael Pineda will get the ball for the Yanks, hoping to continue his early season success, while Ubaldo Jimenez will be the starter for the O’s. The game will be on YES and MLB Network.

Winning Pitcher: Aroldis Chapman (1-0, 1.08 ERA): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 K
Losing Pitcher: Jayson Aquino (0-1, 7.11 ERA): 0.1 IP, 1 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Matt Holliday: 3-5, 2B, HR (3), 3 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Jacoby Ellsbury: 1-5, HR (3), 5 RBI, 2 R
Starlin Castro: 3-5, HR (5), 2 RBI, 2 R
Didi Gregorius: 2-5, 2B, RBI
Aaron Judge: 2-4, 2 HR (9), 3 RBI, 2 R, BB, 2 K
Joey Rickard: 2-5, 2 R, BB
Adam Jones: 2-5, 2 R, BB, 2 K
Manny Machado: 3-5, 2B, HR (4), 3 RBI, 2 R, BB
Mark Trumbo: 3-6, HR (2), 4 RBI, R
Welington Castillo: 1-4, HR (1), 2 RBI, 2 R, BB

Article by: Alex Weir
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